Title: Brand New Start
Author: Mainak Dhar
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Genre: Personal Transformation, Business Self-help
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: Brand New Start by Mainak Dhar
Studying in college or business school and wondering what it takes to land your dream job?
Early in your career and wondering how to set yourself up for success?
Feeling off-track after just a couple of years of working and wondering how to find an opportunity that fits you better?
If you find yourself nodding to any of these questions, then this is the book for you. Brand New Start teaches you that a lot of success at the start of your career hinges on how well you understand, articulate and present the most important brand you can work on.
Combining the wisdom and experience of a CEO gained over two and a half decades in the corporate world with the accessible and engaging storytelling of a bestselling novelist, Brand New Start is a unique book. It will make you reflect, smile, rethink some things you’ve taken for granted, and ultimately equip you with practical advice on how to build a more authentic, more compelling and more differentiated personal brand as a cornerstone of your career success.
Book Review: Brand New Start by Mainak Dhar
Based on the title, I expected this book to be a lot of jargon about marketing, branding, and selling yourself. What I got was much better. ‘Brand New Start’ by Mainak Dhar really has the potential to be a game-changer in the lives of individuals looking for a fresh start in their current career or are looking for something brand new. As I’ve read his previous fiction books, I wasn’t too surprised to find that Mainak Dhar is a great writer: clear, intellectually honest, articulate, and good-humoured.
The starting premise of ‘Brand New Start’ is indeed ambitious, to reinvent one’s career. If it wasn’t because there is no shortage of this kind of books in the market, I would have thought this book to be yet another one of those commercial baits. However, the simplicity of ‘Brand New Start’ and the many exercises it contains inside; make it a worthwhile read.
The originality in this book relies in applying the same method entrepreneurs do on their businesses to ourselves. If we were going to treat ourselves as a one person enterprise, how would we define our purpose, the value we provide or our customers? There is a series of exercises aimed at understanding what you do know, what your inner purpose in life could be, and how to produce a desired-future-state of yourself. It teaches you how to think about a seemingly indivisible problem (your purpose/career) in a structured way using models. This enables you to look closely at parts to improve the whole, or at the whole to see what parts need to change. That’s a great skill, and something not taught in many schools.
‘Brand New Start’ develops the idea of the branding to a more personal level. Through simple theory and relatable case studies, author managed to explain how to develop and improve personal branding. It is aimed at the professionals who aim for growth or reinvention both in an organization or in freelancing.
In ‘Brand New Start’, Mainak Dhar gives structure to any career or project and explains it in the language any literate professional could understand. In addition to that, the book provides few simple tools for professional self-reflection and points to common mistakes people make. I would recommend the book to someone who is trying to re-imagine their professional lives, or to those who are stuck in a dissatisfying professional situation – the book does not just offer simple answers like “drop your job and start a startup” or “turn your hobby into a career” but shows some smart ways to readjust in one’s current position, to prove one’s value to the organization, or to pitch one’s services to a client.